21st February: MT Rainey

MT Rainey is a Director of Channel 4, Chair of TH_NK, Founder of horsemouth.co.uk and Vice Chair of Creative Skillset. 

MT Rainey was born in Dumbarton in Scotland and educated at The University of Glasgow. She began her career in advertising as an Account Planner at TBWA then at 80's start-up Gold Greenlees Trott. In '83 she was headhunted by Jay Chiat to join his eponymous agency Chiat/Day in California to work on the Apple account team which launched The Macintosh with Steve Jobs. She rose to become Head of Planning at the agency, across three US offices, and was named Advertising Woman of The Year by Adweek in '88. 

After successfully launching the London office of Chiat/Day in 1990 as CEO, she left to form her own agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe in '93. The agency grew quickly with clients like Virgin, BT and Scottish & Newcastle. She sold the agency to Y&R in '99, in a deal which saw the smaller agency take over the management of the larger one, and went on to drive significant further growth at RKCR/Y&R with accounts like Marks & Spencer, LLoydsTSB  and the COI.  Having built the agency to a secure top five brand position in the UK, she resigned from her role as Chair of the company in 2005 to pursue other interests. 

Since leaving advertising, MT has devoted much of her time to building a social enterprise in the digital arena called horsesmouth.co.uk, inspired by the potential of new media to create significant public value. Horsesmouth.co.uk is an online social network for safe, informal one-to-one mentoring and now has over 85,000 members. 

In 2008, MT became an investor in and Chair of the Newcastle based digital strategy agency Th_nk and opened an office in London, which has grown significantly and is now one of the top independent digital agencies, recently topping Marketing Week’s Digital Agency Reputation Survey. 

MT is also a Board Director of Channel 4 and is Vice Chair of Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for the Creative Industries. 

Last year she was in instrumental in creating the Let’s Stay Together campaign on social media which gave a voice to those in the UK who supported Scotland remaining in The Union at The Scottish Referendum.

She is a former Chair of the Marketing Group of Great Britain and a former President of The Thirty Club of London.

MT lives in London, escapes to the seaside in Dorset and frequently decamps to Scotland.